Seven men have been arrested after a series of raids across Greater Manchester as part of an operation to tackle fraud and organised crime.
Officers from Greater Manchester Police executed ten warrants in the Oldham and Ashton-under-Lyne areas following an investigation by the Economic Crime Unit into a sophisticated series of frauds, whereby high value cars were stolen from car finance companies.
Officers seized approximately £40k in cash, along with phones and computers.
A 38-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle and money laundering while a 34-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud.
Five men aged between 24 and 51 have been arrested for immigration offences.
All five remain in police custody for questioning.
Detective Constable Mark Edwards, of the Fraud Team said: “Greater Manchester Police is committed to investigating and disrupting organised crime groups who are involved in fraud.
“We believe people have been using fraudulent documents and identity theft to steal cars and we will continue to investigate this type of crime.
“I would urge people to the advice below from Action Fraud to help prevent this type of crime.”
Police have issued this advice for people to help avoid falling victim to fraud:
• Don’t throw out anything with your name, address or financial details without shredding it first.
• If you’re expecting a bank or credit card statement and it doesn’t arrive, tell your bank or credit card company.
• If you move house, ask Royal Mail to redirect your post for at least a year.
• The three credit reference agencies offer a credit report checking service to alert you to any key changes on your credit file that could indicate potential fraudulent activity.
• It is particularly helpful to check your personal credit file 2-3 months after you have moved house.
Anyone who has information about fraud are urged to contact police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
If you need advice about fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 to discuss your situation with one of our specialist fraud advisers. To report a fraud, you can either use our online fraud reporting form or make your report by calling 0300 123 2040.
Picture courtesy of Ray Foster, with thanks.